Where Matters: Health and Economic Impacts of Where We Live
Lawrence D. Frank
Ph.D., AICP, CIP, ASLA
Professor and Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Transportation and Health
University of British Columbia
President, Urban Design 4 Health, Inc.
This seminar took place on March 25, 2019.
New evidence linking built and natural environment features with physical activity, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stress, and sense of community will be presented. These finding are based on large scale health surveillance databases (40,000-50000 N) with address information spatially linked with detailed measures of regional transportation accessibility, walkability metrics, and green space. Results have been integrated into decision-support scenario planning tools (California and National Public Health Assessment Models) designed to predict health impacts of contrasting land use and transportation investment proposals at the neighborhood, corridor, and regional scale. Case studies of the application of these tools by a variety of governmental agencies focusing on a range of geographic scales including transit station areas, corridors, and regional growth and long range transportation planning will be presented. The monetization of results and associated methods will be presented showing significant health care cost savings and workforce productivity benefits from investments in active transportation and transit infrastructure. A newly published causal intervention based study of a greenway will also be presented https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Yk~lKt2puDfW . Emerging areas for future research will be discussed and current limitations will form the basis for an interactive discussion.
Dr. Frank specializes in the interaction between land use, travel behavior, air quality; and health; and in the energy use, and climate change impacts of urban form policies. He coined the term “walkability” in the early 90’s and his work led to WalkScore and has been cited over 27,000 times making him one of the two most cited planning academics in the world. Thompson and Reuters has listed him in the top 1% globally since 2014 as a highly cited researcher. Dr. Frank has published over 150 peer reviewed articles and co-authored two of the leading books: Heath and Community Design and Urban Sprawl and Public Health. Which helped to map out the field emerging at the nexus between built, natural, and social environments and health. Urban Design 4 Health builds software tools and collects data to measure and predict health, wellbeing, and fiscal impacts of transportation investment, natural environment, and land development actions.